BATHURST has the chance to lead a national conversation on water to demand action from our political leaders, a business lunch heard on Tuesday.
Media legend and Australian Broadcasting Corporation chair Ita Buttrose was the guest speaker at a Biz Month business lunch which attracted about 300 people to Bathurst Goldfields.
She spoke about the resilience of the people of country NSW and urged small and medium business owners - "the backbone of the Australian economy" - to keep pushing themselves to find and new innovative solutions to the challenges they face.
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But Ms Buttrose also warned that we could not rely on politicians to find solutions to the drought and said it was time for Bathurst people to make their voices heard.
"We can't take water for granted. We need to be proactive, we need strong leadership on this issue," Ms Buttrose said.
"So I'm going to suggest, can Bathurst lead the conversations of the nation and show the leadership that is needed?"
Ms Buttrose said the sight of water gushing down the drain in Sydney following heavy downpours last week had started her thinking that there must be a solution to the state's drought woes.
"I looked at [the water] and thought, I wish I could save some of that water and send it out to the country. How do I divert it to the bush?" she said.
"Well, obviously one way is to build pipes but the argument against pipes is that it's too costly and we can't afford it.
"But there must be a way to solve this problem and what we need to do is find that way so I'm thinking why not gather together the scientist and the engineer and the ordinary Joe Blow off the street who often comes up with the great entrepreneurial idea and look for ways to solve this problem.
"... Governments understand people power and I think ... you need to lead the way in harnessing people power to get positive action to ensure Australia's water is managed properly."
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